Important changes in the European gambling industry during 2020 – Times of Malta

Needless to say, 2020 was a rough year for everyone, so it is not surprising that the European gambling industry experienced many turmoils and challenges.
Here are the most dramatic changes in the European gaming industry that happened in 2020!

Evolution takes over NetEnt

The Evolution takeover of NetEnt can only be described as the proverbial clash of titans. The most popular live casino supplier completed the $2.3bn acquisition of one of the most prominent gambling software companies NetEnt. What was supposed to be just another merger (at least for the public), turned out to be a story that hogged column inches and set the rumour mill going.

But how will this acquisition affect the industry? Well, Evolution shut down the NetEnt live casino thus establishing Evolution Live’s dominance in the live gambling vertical. Despite that, NetEnt appears among the greatest casino games providers. Gambling guides such as claim that video slot machines from NetEnt can be found in nearly all online casinos.

NetEnt continues to release table games and slots at the same pace as before, and it seems how new owners didn’t meddle into it but were primarily focused on removing their no.1 competitor in the industry, as Evolution is focused exclusively on live gambling. One thing’s for sure – as of 2020, players have fewer live gaming providers to choose from.

Norwegian issues with gambling payments

In Norway, the situation with gambling is not that clear. In the summer of 2019 the Norwegian authorities made a controversial attempt to stop international online casino providers from sending winnings to Norwegian players. The argument was that these online casinos put the risk on weakening the monopoly of Norwegian Tipping.

The online casinos, on the other hand, believed that they were in their full right to pay out the winnings to their customers, referring to the EEA Agreement which Norway is a part of. It all ended fortunately happy for Norwegian gamblers, and the authorities have apparently stepped down attempts during 2020, mainly because of the new, intuitive payment solutions that make it easier to conduct transactions with both bank cards and e-wallets. 

Credit card ban in the UK

Another important dramatic change in 2020, at least in the UK, that has also something with gambling payments to do, is the ban of all credit card transactions towards casinos. This decision came on April 14 with the general public welcoming this decision.

“The ban comes at a vital time as we are seeing an increase in the use of some online products, such as online slots and virtual sports, and our online search analysis shows an increase in UK consumer interest in gambling products since the lockdown began,” said Neil McArthur, chief executive of the Gambling Commission. However, most insiders agree on how the ban won’t reduce the number of problem gamblers, as they will simply switch to alternative payment methods.

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